St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park

Saint Mary Lake is the second largest lake in Glacier National Park, in the U. S. state of Montana.Located on the east side of the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road parallels the lake along its north shore. At an altitude of 4484ft, Saint Mary Lake's waters are colder and lie almost 1500ft higher in altitude than Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park, which is located on the west side of the Continental Divide. Here, the great plains end and the Rocky Mountains begin in an abrupt altitude change, with Little Chief Mountain posing a formidable southern flank above the west end of the lake.The lake is long and deep with a surface area of 3923acre. The waters of the lake rarely rise above 50Ā°F and are home to various species of trout. During the winter, the lake is often completely frozen over with ice up to thick.The opening scene in the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film The Shining was shot at Saint Mary Lake.
Put St. Mary Lake and other Glacier National Park attractions into our Glacier National Park trip planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
Source
map
Create an itinerary including St. Mary Lake
St. Mary Lake Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
269 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • did not disappoint even with some smokiness from forest fires in canada. Our advice is to get to the park early before the crowds hit the pass then do a walk and then drive back late afternoon after t...  more »
  • Plan to stop at St Mary Lake visitor center for interesting interpretive programs. The lake itself offers wildlife viewing, especially waterfowl. Many bear seen ambling through the campground there as...  more »
  • Goose Island overlook is the iconic Glacier photo op. Plenty of parking... early morning best for photos. (sunrise)  more »

Plan your trip to Glacier National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park offers a wealth of accommodation options right inside the park. You can stake a tent in one of theĀ campgrounds or choose from a handful of rustic lodges and chalets. Rooms fill up quickly at these, so make reservations as far in advance as possible (up to a year ahead). A few inns, motels, and lodges sit around the St. Mary's Lakes by the park's northeast boundary, but staying in Whitefish on the western side is a better choice if you prefer to be in a Montana mountain town. Here you'll find homey inns and lodges, economy motels, and a wide range of restaurants. You'll find additional inns and motels as you drive east along Route 2 toward the park's entrance.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Glacier National Park by other users

15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in United States, Jasper National Park & Banff National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in West Glacier, Glacier National Park & Missoula BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park & Glacier National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, teens, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, teens, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans